Breaking the Cycle

My name is Paula and I am a person in recovery. My battle with addiction started when I was 10 or 11, with alcohol and cigarettes. I would sneak a beer out of the fridge and chug it as fast as I could. I suppose I didn’t want to think about or remember the molestation that started when I was 5 and continued until I was 11. As I got older, alcohol was a way …
I have been in and out of recovery for 32 years. I have 10 months. I started with marijuana at age 15. Synthetic marijuana, my most recent drug of choice, was the devil himself! I worked in the Midwest as a psychiatric and addictions physician assistant, but I had issues of my own. When I moved back to New Jersey, where I’m from, I was struggling with bipolar disorder, PTSD, and substance use disorder. I …

Ask For Help

My first time drinking was my initiation into adult life. Alcohol made all things good, bad, and miserable, and my addiction progressed rapidly. Bars became my home and barfly was my name. My work days revolved around hitting the clock to get to the next drink. Blackouts are normal, right? I remember asking a friend. For a while, the hardest thing in my life was trying to remember what I had done the day before.
When I was in the emergency room after my last suicide attempt, a social worker asked if I was “willing to try something different.” I said why not since I thought I had already tried everything and none of it had worked for me which was why I had completely given up on life! At that moment, I realized there was HOPE. That was September 16, 1989. I entered my first treatment at age 17; …

Keys to the Kingdom

Remember what you have. You have the keys to the kingdom. At the time, I didn’t fully appreciate the impact these words would have on me. A man I heard speak was sharing his experience with addiction, and reminding me that my recovery is a blessing that I should never take for granted. At the time, I wasn’t exactly oozing with self-confidence. I could give you an entire sob …

I Made A Choice

Until I was busted in a Chinatown drug sting in 2004, I didn’t really accept that I had a problem with drugs and alcohol. I’d been to private treatment three times and plenty of friends had tried to intervene as my addiction got worse. I’d tried, but hadn’t really decided to change. That night, as an undercover cop threw me onto the asphalt and clicked a pair of handcuffs on me, I started on my …

Methadone Saved Me

My story ends on October 21, 2001, when I entered recovery. After two years of waiting, I finally got the call. My name was chosen for the local methadone program in my town in Ohio. I took a three year journey through this program. I required a dose of 120 mg of methadone to start. It took me 1 1/2 years to “stabilize,” then another 1 1/2 years to detox off the methadone. During the …

My Last Day

On April 28, 2008, I was released from a four-week jail stay. The State of Texas offered me the opportunity to go to a state funded rehab center. My parents picked me up from jail to begin the painful journey from Lufkin to Austin. It was the longest four hours of my entire life. In jail, I saved my commissary, which is the money system in jail. I planned to get high the second I …
For over two decades, I battled an addiction to opiates. It started not because I began experimenting with these powerful narcotics as a recreational drug, but because they were prescribed to me at the age of 13 in prescription cough medication. Those drugs contained the opioid hydrocodone. My parents were never told of the possibility of dependency or addiction. When I was in my early twenties, my physician died. I was stricken with the horrific …

The Voice of God

My name is Mike Sprinsky. I was born and raised in Southie. I’m 37 years old, and I started using heroin at age 15. All my friends are gone or doing a lot of time for crimes they committed. Heroin changed us. At first, I thought it was heaven, but in the end, it took my soul. I’ve seen that happen to other people firsthand, many times. The difference is, God took me from the …